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Samsung is trying to turn wearables into prepaid credit cards

Samsung is trying to turn wearables into prepaid credit cards

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Samsung has some new ideas for how mobile payments can work. Rather than giving devices like smartwatches and smart rings the full power of a credit card, Samsung’s new plan is to treat them more like prepaid credit cards, loaded with a specific amount of cash and unable to charge any more than that.

The idea is to put limits on what a wearable can be used to buy. That could allow for a couple things: it’d make them less of a problem if lost or stolen, since the devices wouldn’t be able to make large charges. And Samsung imagines it could also be a useful way for parents to give money to their children, since they could put a limit on it.

It’s being built into mechanical watches

In addition to limiting the amount of money placed on a mobile payment device, Samsung would also let owners put time limits on when the funds can be used. If they weren’t used up before the time limit, access to the card would disappear.

This is all part of a new payments service Samsung is calling the “Contactless Companion Platform,” or CCP. Samsung is launching CCP in partnership with only two partners, a mobile wallet developer called Smartlink and the payment terminal manufacturer Ingenico.

It’s not clear if you can use this system on any actual wearables yet, even on Samsung’s own devices, or what kind of app you would use to do such a thing even if the wearable supported it. But Samsung says that some are in the works, including some mechanical watches that support the payments system.